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Empty Property Relief Policy in Scotland is changing

17 April 2024

Scotland’s listed buildings lose rates relief

Empty property relief policy in Scotland is changing. As of 1 April 2024, property owners and occupiers in Scotland, particularly those with listed and historic buildings, face a pivotal shift. Local councils across Scotland will remove relief on empty properties, notably for listed and historic buildings.

A New Framework for Rates Relief

The Scottish Government has devolved rates relief policy to local government, with each council able to have its own policy on rates relief. The first relief to be devolved to local authorities is Empty Property Relief (EPR) with some councils having removed rates relief for listed properties from 1 April 2023.

From 1 April 2024, more councils have announced changes to their policies, with several removing empty property relief for listed property entirely. In some cases, ratepayers who have historically had no rates liability for a long-unoccupied listed property will be charged full rates, from 1 April 2024. In some cases, some councils have changed the policy for empty property relief for industrial properties.



The limited communication regarding these policy changes has left many ratepayers unprepared. For many ratepayers the first communication of this will be the bill they will receive in the post later in April.

Ratepayers in Scotland face significant difficulty navigating the complexities of differing policies across the country. Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen City Councils all have different EPR policies.

As Scotland adjusts its Empty Property Relief policy, ratepayers must stay informed and consider strategic responses.

For more information on whether your property has been affected, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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